I lost one of "my kids" over Christmas break. He graduated last year. He was my teacher's aide and spent at least 2 if not 4 hours a day in my room. It hurts, and it hurts when his friends come in and visit it hurts to see them in pain. It is not fair that they have to experience this loss at such a young age. But what helps is talking to them ... and seeing our little community rally around this family. It is awesome.
He was supposed to stop by for a visit before heading back to the Air Force Academy ... he questioned me with each piece of Air Force flair I had (that my kid was given by a recruiter). And now each of those pieces feel tied to him. He forced me to clean my desk completely every couple of weeks. He liked to stick around and talk about whatever was going on in his life or just shoot the breeze. He passed his AP Exam and has a star on my wall with his name on it. I just realized that the geologic time line up in my room may have been from his group during his freshmen year. I will always picture him sitting near my desk with his mischievous grin ...
And though we cry, and the tears will still come sometimes when we least expect it, he would not want us to be sad. He would want us to support his family, get our acts together, accomplish all we can, help those we can, and take comfort that he died doing what he loved.
In addition to being a rockstar teacher, a not-so consistent blogger, wife, mom, sister, and daughter, I am also a Director with Pampered Chef. I only bring this up because I just got back from a leadership retreat. As with all new events I was apprehensive. But it was awesome. And I now wish that teachers had something available to them that was so informative, uplifting, fun, and revitalizing. There were about 25 of us in 5 suites. We took up one floor and had one suite one floor up.
We had two outside speakers, but most of the sessions were led from within the group. We had break out sessions. We had an assigned dinner dinner group. We had 2 small group sessions. We took turns cooking for the group. We each paid for the rooms, and a small portion of the food. We each had assigned items to bring (drink for the group, ingredient for a recipe, and a snack for the group).
We filled out forms ahead of time as to what we needed from the retreat. We had a scavenger hunt, a craft project, a guessing game about the other participants, gifts on our pillows, and a secret admirer. We had a expert panel from within the group, we had some therapy, and we had a lot of laughter. Enough that we need to be able to be as loud as we want!
Would you want to come to our teacher retreat (if we can figure out how to make it work)?
have been challenged to write every day. Why would I take that challenge
on? Because I love this blog. There is so much I would like to
share and reflect on, but I am often pulled in so many directions that I forget
what amazing things I wanted to write about. I figure even if I can't
publish a post every day, at least I am doing better than I was. So, get
ready. We are about to get silly, get real and get random.
am going to write about activities in classes, my composition book of memories,
losing a student, what to do when you have a sub, December Spirit days, gifts
to students and gifts from students, the proper way to spend winter break … and
everything else I think of!
any ideas what I should write about? I
have a few ideas, but if you like our little blog and want to hear something
specific comment below and let us know.
Devolson* has reared its ugly head again, and I hope today is the worst it gets.
Have you heard of pregnancy-brain, it causes pregnant women to forget everything. I say there is also a condition in DEVOLSON called "teacher-brain." Consider the following story as evidence:
Today I forgot my phone number. Not like I had to think about it ... not like I had to close my eyes and pretend to be typing it in to an imaginary phone (I do that every time I'm asked for it). Nope, today I made up a new number and thought is was mine. Then I emailed it to 4 different people. Just before I hit send on the 5th email I realized "that is not my phone number." I took an area code that is not mine, then my area code, 4then my last 4 digits ...
Then the best part... emailing people and letting them know that I forgot my number and here is my real number ...
Thankfully Chonte' and I have a comp day tomorrow.
*If you are unfamiliar with the term DEVOLSON you must immediately read the entirity of the blog Love, Teach.
I am amazed by what some teachers can create. This year I have thrown the old Interactive Science Notebook format (A&B sides) out the window and the students and I are creating foldables, graphic organizers, sketch notes (completely their own ideas) and doodle notes (my ideas). We are using color everywhere. We are cutting, folding, pasting and coloring. It is a nice change of pace. It is rough. Some days don't go as planned ... it is worth it.
So I gave the students a handout for Cell Transport and Tonicity ... and we filled in notes and drawings from the power point. This took FOREVER (I apologize for every who is cap sensitive), for two reasons. One, we had never done this before (aka it always takes longer the first time), the students had to try to think about color, spacing and the content at the same time. Apparently it was just the one thing ... or I forgot the other. How I solved the problem. I added more words. It is not perfect. It will be after next year.
So I am one of those teachers who hears about "the next big thing" every summer and spends weeks trying to figure out how it can be implemented in my classroom. Then, when school actually begins one of two things happen, 1. I usually jump off the bandwagon and teach with my tried and true methods, or 2. I modify the tool to fit my needs.
This year, my school is pushing all of us to use Google Classroom, and I LOVE IT! The flipped classroom has been "the thing" for several years, and I tried my hand at it but I couldn't seem to make it feel like me; it never felt authentic, so I left it behind. Well, Google Classroom has brought the flipped classroom back to me, and it is a game changer! I have typed notes on Google classroom that students complete at home. When they come to class notes get stamped for completion. The class discusses notes and adds information if needed. This frees up time for group activities, videos, and assignment are now done during class time. As with all tools I use, I have modified Google Classroom to serve my needs.
The greatness of Google Classroom: (my top 4)
1. Students can get to their work from any device.
2. Students can collaborate with each other and the teacher.
3. Students can set notifications for updates in any class.
4. Students can take notes at their own pace.
As with anything, you can find problems, but I am in love so I can only see the good!